The perfect opening day matchup for the New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The start of the 2023-24 NBA Regular Season is quickly approaching, and although we don’t know who the New Orleans Pelicans’ first opponent will be, we do have an idea of who a good first opponent would be for them.

Who is that team, you ask? None other than the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Why the Thunder specifically? Let’s start with the obvious fact that they were the team to eliminate them from the playoffs last season. If you’ll recall, they ended the Pelicans’ season in the first game of the play-in tournament 123-118.

Getting to play and hopefully beat the Thunder would be a great way to start their season – a season that will hopefully serve as a redemption after last season spiraled into despair after Zion Williamson’s injury.

From a pure entertainment standpoint, it would be great for the league to have two of the game’s best rising stars square off to start the season. If you needed a hint, those two stars would be Williamson and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Gilgeous-Alexander has obviously been the healthier of the two young guns thus far. But we all know that, when he’s right, Williamson can hang with any offensive focal point in the league.

On top of all that, these two teams facing off always seem to make for a great game. In four of the five times they faced off this year, the game was decided by five points or less. The one exception was when the Thunder beat them 110-96 on March 11th. Having a close game for Chet Holgrem’s NBA debut would be great for the league, too, as it would give them a chance to spotlight one of their most tantalizing rookies.

As we mentioned before, we should know what the Pelicans’ schedule looks like sometime in early August.

Next. 5 Pelicans most likely to be traded. dark